Fracturing the NATO Alliance: Is This Trump’s Gift to Putin?

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Today was a long day for Donald Trump.  He woke up early in the morning and started a tirade about NATO…and just never stopped.  It’s hard to know where this might go – it’s hard to predict an unpredictable mess – but he is clearly setting the stage to appear overwhelmingly stupid.

Before he left, he tweeted, “Getting ready to leave for Europe.  First meeting – NATO.  The U.S. is spending many times more than any other country in order to protect them.  Not fair to the U.S. taxpayer.  On top of that we lose $151 Billion on Trade with the European Union.  Charge us big Tariffs (&Barriers)!”

While en route to Belgium on Air Force One, he took to Twitter again to attack NATO, going so far as to say that member countries need to pay more while the U.S. pays less and suggesting he expects nations that haven’t spent enough on defense to reimburse the United States.

“NATO countries must pay MORE, the United States must pay LESS.  Very Unfair!”

“Many countries in NATO, which we are expected to defend, are not only short of their current commitment of 2% (which is low), but are also delinquent for many years in payments that have not been made,” Trump tweeted. “Will they reimburse the U.S.?”

According to ThinkProgress, it is true that only a handful of the 28 NATO member countries currently spend 2 % or more of their GDP on defense, a 2014 agreement gave all of them a decade to get to the 2 % level. CNN also explains that member nations are largely on track to meet that goal.

Fracturing the NATO alliance has long been a goal of Vladimir Putin, whom Trump is scheduled to meet with in Helsinki following the NATO summit. Before boarding Air Force One on Monday, Trump said he’s bringing a gift for Putin – could fracturing the alliance be the “gift”?

 

 

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